The ‘Not Alone’ Project
When I attended the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne last year, one of the people I had the pleasure of meeting was Martin Pribble. He turned out to not only be a fine companion for a beer and a chat, but also to be very much in sync with my own outlook on various issues and dilemmas in the secular, humanist and atheist landscapes. So regardless of anything else, I’d recommend that those of you who don’t subscribe to his blog consider checking it out. One of his blog posts – “The Trouble with Facts” – was in fact interesting enough for me to include it as prescribed reading for my students.
One of the points of agreement Martin and I discovered was that we were both less interested in atheism for its own sake – in simply challenging religious belief – than we were in promoting an alternative to religion that could add value to people’s lives in the same sorts of ways that religion often has. One aspect of that alternative would be a competing community – a place to find support, and words of advice from people who’ve been around the block already.
As he observes in an interview over at Emilyhasbooks, the ongoing strife within the atheist community could give outsiders or fence-sitters the impression that the strife is all that there is, or all that consumes the time and attention of prominent atheist bloggers and speakers. And if this were the case, someone struggling to ‘come out’ as an atheist might not know where to turn to tell their story, and get support in cases of ostracisation or marginalisation resulting from their non-belief.
In response to this, Martin has launched the “Not Alone” project, where
non-believers stories can be published, in a completely safe environment, which doesn’t judge its participants in any way. This is an internet “safehouse” for those who fear coming out, an a place to share stories, freedoms and inspirations that atheism allows you. Those who publish their work here have the choice of remaining anonymous, or publishing their names in their articles.
So if you encounter someone who wants to tell their story, or who wants to read about the struggles that other people might have had in coming out as an atheist, consider checking the Not Alone Project website out, and spreading the word about it in your circles.